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Celebrate Family - Like'em or Not

Updated: May 9

Inner peace and relaxation
Celebrating Unity and Love

You might not be aware of this, but there's a growing movement to celebrate Family Month between Mother's Day and Father's Day every year. Here is a link to a website about it, and here’s why that I think it's a great idea.

We live in tumultuous times. Wars and politics aside, we're changing how we address each other, how we work, the technologies we use, and how we use those technologies. We're not as trusting as a society because of it. Strangers annoy us with scam calls. Our inboxes load up with emails from people and groups we've never heard of. We're not entirely sure that the news were listening to was even intended to be true. If people want to cut ties with us, they "ghost “us, which can feel almost as if they died. I could go on, but you probably experienced at least three of these things already today, and you could think of three other things that I haven't thought of.

In short, none of us feel grounded. The circle of people we can trust feels like it is shrinking. We don't know who we are.

It is instantly grounding, on the other hand, to reflect on who you are, how you came into being, and what your purpose is. Celebrating family is a great way to start that process.

"I don't like my family,” you say. Well, many years ago, after we had moved to San Francisco, some rough things happen to us financially. We were doing everything we could do already, but it felt like there was something more. So, like any good Northern Californian who lived in a Chinese neighborhood, I hired a feng shui consultant. It totally worked too. There certainly is something true about the way energy flows in a space and the psychological impressions a space can give off. But the most important thing I learned from hiring her was about Family.

Many Chinese people engage in what westerners call “ancestor worship". Communists allow this spiritual practice in place of religion. People pop down to the local temple and light incense in honor of someone who has died. So, it's not surprising that feng shui includes some ancestor worship. My consultant asked me why I only displayed pictures of the immediate nuclear family – my husband, the kids and me. Why didn't I have pictures of the ancestors? Even though we got along with both of our families, having pictures of them out on display gave us both unpleasant recollections from childhood. From a hypnotherapy standpoint, we would say that it triggered negative subconscious programming.

The consultant told me that we would never be able to solve our future, unless we honored our past, and that “Honor your mother and father,” which happens to be one of the Ten Commandments, does not mean we have to like them. It means we honor where we came from. To know where we're going, we have to process and appreciate where we have been. Doing so brings prosperity.

I followed her advice, and as I said, it totally worked. The financial difficulties were solved within a couple weeks of implementing her changes, including putting out pictures of grandma and grandpa, and the great grandparents. I realized how good it was for our then small children to see them, too. I'd catch them looking at the photos. Sometimes they would even ask questions.

The concept of anxiety as a mental state and how it affects thoughts and emotions.
Embracing Ancestral Ties

I believe that a small part of why young people are depressed today is that they don't know who they are. Divorce is common among their parents and grandparents. Young people expect that to happen to them, and so understandably, they are reluctant to commit to permanent relationships. Add to that the fact that we're all pretty comfortable. Compared to 100 years ago, even our poor live in relative luxury.  We all have heat, food and basic medical care. I believe this contributes to depression because the ease of living today diminishes our drive to survive. Pretty soon young people wonder what they're here for.

Of course I'm a realist. I don't expect divorce to go away. I don't expect every family to be blissfully happy like a 1950s TV show. Tragedy and trauma will always be with us. But that's why it's even more important to celebrate family. Everyone on the planet has come into existence the same exact way. Whether we know them, live with them, like them or not, we all have a biological mother and father. It's what we have in common. That's what makes us human beings. It's grounding to recognize that. It builds compassion to acknowledge that we’re flawed beings, who somehow had children, and then paid it forward enough for those kids to survive to adulthood – and go on to have even more children.  Acknowledging our family makes us want to put down our phones and look other human beings in the eye.

Most clients at some point in their hypnotherapy process need to neutralize their relationship to some family trauma or other in order to achieve their goal. More often than not, I lead clients into what's called a “regression,” in which they go back to a particularly important time and review or rework what happened. Usually, they wind up in a conversation with Mom or Dad, sometimes even other ancestors farther back. They seek to understand why things had to go a certain way, and why they were treated a certain way. They usually wind up forgiving the participants. Just about no one does a regression to last week when their boss went on a rampage. If they’re upset the boss went on a rampage, they go back to sometime when their father, grandfather, or uncle went on a rampage, because that's usually the first time the client learned how frightening a rampage can be. Clients may even go back to family members they've never seen or spoken with just to resolve a traumatic issue in their minds - that's how important the family connection is.

Family, get along with them or not, is what makes us human. So, it ought to be celebrated.  If your family connections are happy, be grateful because true happiness is rare.  If your family connections are strained, appreciate all the growth and lessons you’ve learned and will continue to learn from the strain. And in every case, experience gratitude that you are alive and that the people who made you made you. Whether it’s been a bumpy road or smooth, you’re here.

Support and Comfort represents the role of a hypnotherapist in providing guidance and support.
Meditate on Family Connections

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